Every year, millions of individuals are diagnosed with having a tumor present in some location of their body. When cell division becomes multiplied and out of control, tumors develop. Dense masses can build up in any part of a patient's body. Doctors can determine what is causing the tumor, where it is located and the size of the tumor. Among these many tests, the physician must also determine whether or not the mass is benign or malignant.
It is very important to find out immediately whether or not the mass is benign or malignant. If a doctor diagnoses a tumor as benign, it is not cancerous or harmful to the body. Slower moving cells make up a benign mass and clump together to eventually form a smooth surface. One of the better aspects of benign tumors is that they are basically non-harming to any portion of the body (unless it is in the brain that could disrupt vital body functions) and cannot spread to other parts of the body. In most cases, a doctor surgically removes the tumor and the chances for it coming back are often very slim.
Malignant tumors are more worrisome. These types of tumors stick together and form cells that do not have distinct borders. When found in later stages, the cell mass actually grows a root into the center of the tumor. Malignant tumors are more hazardous to the body because it normally means that an illness or disease has formed in the body. There are more chances of the tumor and cancerous cells spreading to other areas of the body. Once this has happened, there is a very low chance that the illness can be contained and reproduction of cells can be stopped. When a cancerous mass makes its primary tumor, it is often a slow process. This inhibits any symptoms of the disease or illness to show forth to the patient. The later a doctor diagnoses a tumor the worse off the patient is. It is important to have questionable symptoms checked immediately and for a number of tests to be done to locate the tumor and whether or not it has spread. Doctors normally use x-ray, CT scan and MRI to distinguish where a tumor may be located. From there, diagnosis and prognosis are determined and treatment begins. Different patients experience different results with tumors and it is often hard to pinpoint the future for patients with malignant tumors.
In either case, proper testing is a must. If a primary doctor has detected a lump or mass that is unusual, they can often refer the patient to a specialist, depending on where the tumor is located. Tumors can show up in any part of the body. The most important factor to determine when finding hazardous cells is whether or not it has spread. It can mean the chances of survival are much higher if it has not spread to other areas of the body.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.